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Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Man with ‘lazy eye’ accused of knocking out woman’s tooth at homeless camp

Joseph Treval Martin
Joseph Treval Martin

A Leesburg man already on probation in New York was arrested last week after he reportedly attacked a woman at a homeless camp and knocked out one of her teeth.

The victim told a Leesburg police officer Friday morning that she was laying on a mattress inside her tent in a wooded area of Leesburg when she saw a black male wearing a long-sleeve gray shirt and black pants. The victim said she asked the man multiple times who she was and what he was doing at her camp, according to the police report.

The victim said the man didn’t reply and then entered her tent, pinned her down and started choking her to the point where she couldn’t breathe. She said he grabbed a tarp, wrapped it around her head and started choking her again. The victim said she struggled with the attacker and during the struggle, her front tooth dislodged from her mouth, the report said.

The victim said she started pleading with the attacker, saying, “Hey I have kids.” She said after repeating that multiple times, the attacker said, “OK, I’ll let you go.” The victim said the man let go of her and she ran away from the campsite and towards a business, where she called law enforcement. The victim described the attacker as having a “lazy eye,” according to the report.

The officer observed superficial scratches to the victim’s face and both legs. One of the victim’s front teeth was missing and the location where the tooth was dislodged had a fresh wound. The victim was extremely afraid and upset, the report said.

A witness told the officer he saw the victim running out of the woods and towards the business with a terrified look on her face. He said he then saw a short black male chasing her. The witness said when he made eye contact with the suspect, the man changed directions and ran to his vehicle and drove away. The witness said the vehicle was a blue Hyundai Accent and provided the license number, according to the report.

A computer inquiry showed the vehicle was registered to 30-year-old Joseph Treval Martin, of 33211 Kaylee Way, in Leesburg. Officers met with Martin along with a Lake County sheriff’s deputy. Martin told them he went to the camp in the woods to give food to the victim’s boyfriend. He could not provide the victim’s boyfriend’s name but said he brought food to him all the time. Martin also said he had never met the victim before, the report said.

Martin said when he entered the camp, the victim had her back turned away from him and she had a needle in her hand. He said the victim jumped out of tent and towards him with the needle. Martin said he told the victim, “Don’t stab me,” and he grabbed the victim’s arm because she was getting too close. He said he told the victim to stop and pushed her off him, according to the report.

Martin said the victim started to fight, so he told her to leave him alone and walked away. Martin said he discovered his GPS device – which he is required to carry at all times because of his parole – was missing, and he returned to the camp to retrieve it. He said he found his GPS and left the campsite without walking towards the victim, the report said.

Martin was taken to the Leesburg police station for booking. Officers searched the scene of the incident but could not find any stray needles, according to the report.

Interviewed again at the police station, Martin was unable to describe how the victim was “fighting” him and claimed to have only pushed her away from him. His claim of not going towards the victim after leaving the woods is not consistent with statements by the victim and witness, the report said.

A check of Martin’s criminal history shows he is currently on probation in New York state. He was charged with felony battery causing permanent disfigurement and taken to the Lake County Jail. Martin is being held on $75,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Lake County Court on Nov. 7.

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